Current Fungal Infection Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 129–138 | Cite as

Cardiotoxicity Induced by Antifungal Drugs

Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics of Antifungal Agents (P Gubbins, Section Editor)


This review addresses the potential of antifungal drugs to cause cardiac toxicity. Many antifungal drugs, especially antifungal azoles, rarely cause torsades de pointes (TdP) and carry the risk of sudden death. Interventions to avoid TdP should include cautious use of azoles in combination with other drugs that cause QTc prolongation, and elimination of risk factors for TdP whenever possible. These risk factors include: hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, severe bradycardia, and preexisting long QT syndrome. ECG monitoring should be considered when the use of multiple QT-prolonging drugs is unavoidable and TdP risk factors cannot be resolved. Itraconazole exhibits negative inotropic activity which may present as worsening heart failure in patients with preexisting heart failure. A few cases of severe bradycardia have also been described with voriconazole. Most cases of cardiac toxicity associated with amphotericin B are due to severe electrolyte abnormalities, rapid administration or overdose. Although cardiac toxicity is not common with the use of antifungal drugs, recognition of the potential to cause serious cardiac-related outcomes, evaluation of risk factors, and monitoring is warranted.


Antifungal drugs QT Heart failure Cardiac toxicity Fluconazole Ketoconazole Itraconazole Voriconazole Posaconazole Amphotericin B Ehinocandins 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

DE Nix declares no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Arizona College of PharmacyTucsonUSA

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